Get stunning designs, entries for the Victorian Premier’s Design Awards close soon
“Dark.” That’s Melbourne designer Courtney Holm’s heartfelt advice to any fashion brand that’s unsure about applying for the 26th Victorian Premier’s Design Awards. “It’s a nice little ego boost to win an award,” she says, “But it can also boost your name and credibility, especially among industry and government (people) whose you might need to support you later.”
Image: Courtney Holm, founder/designer of A.BCH and circular fashion activist. Photo: Gavin Green
According to Courtney, rewards can have a ripple effect that isn’t immediately obvious to a small fashion business. “We’ve never had huge PR or advertising budgets,” she says of her own brand, “So awards are one of the ways we’ve been able to build our brand identity and just getting the word out about what we do.”
Courtney’s five-year-old fashion label A.BCH won Best in Category – Fashion Design at Premier’s Design Awards 2019 just months before the pandemic hit. “I might have been a one-off because of that moment,” she laughs; “A lot has happened in 2020!”
In fact, the horrors of 2020 and 2021 haven’t deterred the sustainable fashion activist from participating in the awards and possibly filling a virtual shelf with them at A.BCH headquarters. “We had a great awards ceremony at Pavilion M,” she recalled of her Premier’s Design Award.
“Then we won a Women’s Weekly Woman of the Future award (including a cash prize of $35,000) and the following year, in 2021, we received the Australian Fashion Winner for Sustainable Fashion.”
Couple that with a Gold Award for Fashion at the Victorian Good Design Awards and Courtney was a bona fide expert on how A.BCH’s intricate circularity backstory could be shared widely with more of us and of effort – through awards, consumer education workshops and public speaking engagements. events – that marketing money.
“It’s actually quite an application process (for the Prime Minister’s Awards and other awards), so you have to factor that into your time,” she says. “But for me it has been very important. I am trying to drive change in this industry; sustainability is the only way forward, but we can’t do it alone. We need other companies to come along with us. and we have to get the government on the side too, especially if we’re going to apply for grants in the future.”
The Victorian Premier’s Design Awards are recognized as the country’s most prestigious and oldest state design awards. Registration for the 26th round is free and closes on July 29.
Design categories include architecture, industry, communications, digital, college student projects and of course fashion. Designers of clothing, footwear, textiles, accessories, costumes – virtually any facet of fashion – are encouraged to apply.
Meanwhile, other recent A.BCH winners in the fashion category of the awards include Reborn by Homie, SZN, The Last Knitting Mill and designer Chelsea Hickman.
Find out more about their stories as well as information on the awards and how to apply: https://premiersdesignawards.vic.gov.au